Hunting safety in the forefront as McLean’s wind farm proceeds

LITTLE CURRENT—Despite a crane overturn last month, construction of Northland Power’s McLean’s Mountain Wind Farm (MMWF) is proceeding well with hunting safety in the forefront as bow season for deer started last month and rifle season opens next Monday on Manitoulin.

“With safety in mind, we acknowledge that hunting season is now in progress,” commented MMWF project manager Paul Kaminski in a release. “We would like to ask all hunters to be mindful of construction activities in the area, especially during the upcoming rifle season. Workers will be present on and around the project area during the daytime; please take extra precautions when hunting in the vicinity.”

“We will not be interfering with any hunting activities landowners may have planned for their properties,” Northland Power Director of Communications Sarah Charuk added. “MMWF published notifications in The Expositor raising awareness of project activities taking place during hunting season. HB White (the construction company working on the project) notified its staff about the hunting activities in the area, and workers are wearing high visibility safety vests while on the project site and outside of vehicles.”

As for the 365-ton crane which overturned during a one-vehicle incident on the Green Bush Road on Thursday, October 24, Ms. Charuk told The Expositor that the cleanup is compete.

“When the Canada Crane tipped over, Lecroix Construction was called in to perform the (oil) spill containment and soil excavation/remediation work,” explained Ms. Charuk. “Lecroix Construction in turn hired Canadian Shield to assess where any spill may have spread and to test for and determine at the end of the cleanup that all potential contaminants have been collected. The report from Canadian Shield Spill Response came out, and although the exact amount of petroleum products was not specified, the report stated that the contamination had not vertically migrated far and was limited to not more than  0.7 meters below the surface. The absorbent booms were in place to contain any horizontal migration and the road has been repaired.”

In other areas of construction, 13 turbines are now up and “construction is proceeding well,” noted Ms. Charuk.

“The electrical stations (sub-station, transition station and switching station) are well under way and nearing completion,” continued Ms. Charuk. “The operations and maintenance building is erected and the interior work is proceeding. The high voltage transmission line’s poles are installed and line pulling is ongoing.”

The 24-turbine MMWF is scheduled to begin commission activities shortly, continuing into 2014, and to be commercially operational by the end of the first quarter of 2014.

Robin Burridge